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Tag Archive: Pregnancy Update

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

19 weeks!! It feels like the last two weeks have sort of dragged by slower than usual as I anticipated being at the halfway mark. I have a feeling once I hit 20 weeks, then it will feel like it flies by for a bit until I start anticipating 30 weeks and then 40 weeks.


I definitely started looking more pregnant this week. A lot of people noticed it and it’s fun (and weird!) to look down and see a protruding belly! I also broke out my first pair of maternity jeans (see photo above!) which felt pretty monumental!


I started taking only one dose of iron daily + one dose of Blood Builder (instead of a double dose of SlowFe). It seems like this combo is working well for my stomach + I seem to have had more energy this week and I have to wonder if the B12 is helping with that?! I’m still nauseous at least part of most every day and running on about 50% the energy that I usually am, but it’s SO much better than the first trimester and I’m so grateful!


Scrambled eggs, avocados, and sourdough toast with butter continue to be my go to’s. I also had this obsession with making a pie mixing yogurt and whipped topping and freezing it in a graham cracker crust (thanks to a suggestion from a follower for how to use up all this plain yogurt I got marked down at a crazy price!)

Weight gain: 10 lbs.

We bought and decorated a Christmas tree this week! I felt like we were at least a week behind the rest of the world in getting this up, but I guess there are no rules for Christmas, right? The good news is that because we waited, we were able to get the tree for half price!

(Psst! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll remember that we ditched having a big Christmas tree last year. But this year, we decided to bring back the tradition and we don’t regret it! Want to hear about more of our Christmas traditions? We all recorded a podcast as a family on that very topic.)

Silas had this big wart on his finger that he got burned off this week at the pediatrician’s office.

Growing up, I had to get a lot of warts burned off, so I felt so badly for him when he was in pain for the next day as a result. But he really wanted to get it taken off and it was so big that I didn’t think any of the natural remedies would work (I tried a bunch of them growing up, including ACV, duct tape, wart remover ointment, and more and none of them ever worked at all for me!!)

Gratefully, the pain only lasted for a day and he’s really happy that it’s healing!

Kathrynne had her first basketball games of the season this week. She’s on Varsity this year and has a new coach, so she’s being stretched in good ways. We love getting to cheer her on and try to go to every single game that we can go to. It becomes a fun family activity — and we also get to see new parts of TN as we drive to little towns in different places for her away games!

We also had a big Christmas gathering for all of the youth group members from both campuses of our church + the leaders. I laughed so hard and it was such a gift during a very full week.

(By the way, Jesse and I have just loved the opportunity to serve as youth group leaders this year. It has brought us so much joy and life to pour into these kids!)

Friday afternoon, we got a call about a 3-sibling group in foster care that didn’t have a home for the weekend. They were 13, 11, and 3 and Jesse and I felt strongly we were supposed to say yes. It turned out to be such a wonderful weekend. Tiring, but such a gift to get to open our home up and love on these kids.

They had never decorated Christmas cookies before, so we had a fun time baking and decorating cookies together.

The 3-year-old gave Kaitlynn a makeover! 🙂

The stay included one night with very little sleep because the 3-year-old had a bad cough and it kept waking her up and then she’d get scared and cry. I finally figured out that if I laid next to her bed, when she woke up, she’d be a lot less scared if I was right there with her.

Her cough got worse on Saturday, so I took her into urgent care just to be safe. Gratefully, no ear infection (she’d be complaining of her ears hurting) and just an upper respiratory infection. They suggested honey and a humidifier. We also found Zarbee’s cough syrup that was approved for kids under 6 (we discovered this weekend that almost no meds are approved for kids under 6! I think maybe things have changed since our kids were little?) and we gave her that on Saturday night and she only woke up twice!)

We are so thankful we had the opportunity to open up our home this weekend — if only for a short while — to love on and provide a safe place for these kids to stay. I also have quickly realized how many big feelings are going to be involved in this foster care journey we’re on… as I told someone yesterday, it’s both beautiful and brutal.

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 18), a trip to Kansas, Thanksgiving meal prep

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

Week 18! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway!!


Baby has been kicking up a storm and all the kids were excited that they were able to each feel kicks this week!! They want to sit and just keep their hands on my belly so they don’t miss any kicks!!


I implemented some of your suggestions for heartburn and sleep and while I can’t point to one specific thing that I’m certain worked, I am thrilled to report that I only had one really bad heartburn/nausea day this week and I’m positive it was because I wasn’t super careful with what I ate that day. Otherwise, I had very little heartburn this week and I slept for six hour stretches multiple nights!!

Also notable: this week marked my last planned flights until (likely) well after the baby is born. It feels weird that, if all goes as planned, I won’t be hopping on a plane again for months and months! I’m excited to get to stay home and write my next book, possibly get to love on and care for a child who is in foster care (we think there’s a good chance we’ll be getting a placement soon!), and start prepping for bringing this new baby into our home!


Scrambled eggs and avocados with sourdough toast and butter (this has become one of my go-to meals) and frozen yogurt. Also, I absolutely loved the turkey and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! It hit the spot!


We went to Wichita, Kansas all week to spend time with both sides of our family. I took almost zero pictures the entire time because I was just offline and soaking up the time with family, so I have almost none to show of our time there. But it was a really fantastic trip and we’re so glad our families both live so close so that we can spend holidays with both sides!

We all enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time with so many of the nieces and nephews/cousins.

Each year, we have two family Thanksgiving celebrations with extended family on Thursday and everyone who comes signs up to bring parts of the meal. This year, because I’m running on a lot less energy that I usually have, I asked the kids if they would be willing to help out. They each signed up to make one item for both houses.

Kathrynne made Pistachio Salad and Green Bean Casserole. Kaitlynn made two Apple Pies (be sure to check out the braided crust she did — see below!). Silas made two Pumpkin Pie fillings. And Jesse peeled and cut up 10 lbs. of sweet potatoes.

All I did was oversee, make pie crusts, and finish the two Sweet Potato Casseroles — and we were done in two hours with everything!

Mamas of littles, holidays might be really hard right now. You’re tired. There’s so much to do. And you have to do so much of it yourself.

Well, just hang on… there’s a day coming soon when your kids will be old enough to not only take care of getting themselves dressed and fed, but they’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for you, too!

What I’m…

Reading: Parenting and The Killing Tide

Watching: We subscribed to Disney+ for December at the kids’ request since we usually watch a lot more family movies together this month! The kids are loving it! We watched 12 First Dates last night as a family. This was a fun, feel good movie that reminds us to see our blessings right in front of us. (Note: It was a big cheesy in parts, had a tiny bit of mild language in it, and was definitely a bit of a rip-off of Groundhog Day, but we all still enjoyed it.) What are your family’s favorite Christmas movies?

Listening to: Christmas Music! (Of course!) Also, after months of getting nauseous from listening to audiobooks (just one of the many weird things that makes me sick to my stomach in pregnancy!), I just downloaded a few from Libby and am going to try again this week!

Loving: That it’s December and we have so many memory-making plans for this month! It’s one of my favorite months and I’m excited about it!

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and/or loving? I’d love to hear!

Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

17 weeks and the bump is starting to finally make its appearance more regularly! I still get shocked every time I look in the mirror and see that there’s a BABY bump there!!


I’m slowly transitioning into a few maternity tops! And I’m feeling the baby move so much more now — Jesse was even able to feel some movement!!


After a few weeks of lots of pregnancy-induced insomnia, I actually slept over 7 hours straight the past two nights!!!! I forgot what that felt like!!

Also, I have significantly changed my diet and that seems to really be helping my heartburn. I usually have severe heartburn that gets progressively worse in my pregnancy but I found that limiting my fats to eggs, avocados, butter, and grape seed oil + having almost zero acidic foods has made a massive difference in the last week for me. I don’t know how long the relief will continue but every hour that I’m not experiencing intense heartburn is such a gift right now!


Carbs and more carbs (at least I’m craving whole grains most of the time, though!!) Plus (gratefully!) some fruit, veggies, and meat. I’m thankful that while I’m still nauseous at least some of every day, overall I’m able to eat and (mostly) enjoy healthy food again! Also, I’m back to drinking close to a gallon of water again — yay!!!


Got any great suggestions/solutions to help with insomnia or heartburn? Send ‘em my way!

The kids are SO excited to have a whole week of school off for Thanksgiving break! We’re headed to Kansas to spend time with both of our families and can’t wait!

Kathrynne got Friday off, too, so she went with me to Panera while I worked on a writing project and she worked on this art project (she’s been loving sketching and drawing and doodling recently!)

The finished product!

Something From My Heart…

They say you should use a nice camera, use editing software, and use photo presets if you really want to grow your online following and increase your engagement.

I think blogs and social media accounts like that are beautiful and amazing, but that’s just not me. I’m not that organized, put-together, or patient. Plus, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to use photo presets.

So instead, I bring you real-life photos and videos taken in the moment on my phone. Because this is my life and this is what I have to offer.

The “experts” would say a darkly-lit photo with a messy table and dishes on it should never see the light of day on someone’s social media account or blog. But y’all, I think this photo that I took the other night of the Silas and Jesse working on Silas’ rough draft together is so much more meaningful than most all edited and staged photos I have.

It speaks of a dad who loves his son, of a boy who is working hard on school, and of the beauty that is real life. These are the moments I don’t ever want to forget.

If I took the time to try to get the lighting right, cleared the table strewn with dishes and books, and staged the setting, it would completely lose the meaning for me.

So thank you for following here and joining me in the imperfect. Thank you for not expecting pretty and staged and edited from my blog or social media accounts. Thank you for showing up for the real and the raw. And thank you for loving me — and us — exactly as we are! It means the world to me and it makes me look forward to hanging out online every day! ❤️

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 16), a trip to Wichita, the Blissdom blogging conference

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Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

16 weeks!! (And excuse the sort of goofy pose/facial expression. I was hanging out with some good blogging friends after the Blissdom conference on Friday night and we were all laughing over something right before this photo was taken and I couldn’t stop laughing enough to take a more normal looking photo!)

Jami Balmet is pregnant with baby #6 (she had two sets of twin boys in two years and then she had a little girl!) and we are both due on the same day so we had to get a belly shot! We were teasing her that she’s so chill about her pregnancy because she’s so experienced that she rarely ever talks about it online. Whereas I’m over here documenting everything like a first-time mom!


I can feel the baby moving a lot more — especially in the last few days. The kids are so hopeful they’ll be able to feel movement on my tummy soon. I keep telling them it likely won’t be for another few weeks, but they are super excited about it.


I have finally been able to start drinking more water again after weeks and weeks of having to get super creative in getting in liquids since water made me sick. As someone who used to drink a gallon of water everyday, this has been a challenge and I’m so happy to be back to my water-guzzling habits!


I have been ravenously hungry this past week! It seems the baby is going through a big growth spurt or something. I am so grateful that I have been able to get back to eating much healthier now, even if I do still crave pizza and tacos and (now) desserts. But hey, being able to eat and enjoy salads after so many weeks of just eating whatever I thought I could keep down has been so nice!!


How are the rest of you pregnant mamas doing??

I got to fly down to Wichita, KS for my mom’s 66th birthday this past weekend. Unfortunately, I only got one picture (the one above of my parents) because I was so focused on just hanging out with my family.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go. Since we’ll likely be opening up our home soon to a child (or children) in foster care and I’m having a baby in the spring, I know that I probably won’t be able to just hop on a plane and go somewhere by myself in the coming months and years!

I love these three more than words can describe — but I kinda wish that they had a little more personality. 😉

We went to get their passports renewed over lunch break on Tuesday. (Kathrynne is going to Suriname in the Spring so we renewed them all while we were at it!)

In my usual desire to document life so I don’t forget, I asked them all to stand under the passport sign so I could take a cute picture of them. I said, “Smile!” and this was the result.

Of course I could have said something like, “C’mon guys, actually smile for me!” (And I do say that sometimes!!) But I also love having photos like this that show their personalities way more than a perfectly staged smiling picture ever would.

I’m trying to soak up these days, these moments, these personalities, these people who are growing up so quickly. It’s hard to think they were once tiny babes in my womb!

Also, this current tiny human in my womb has no idea what they are in for when they arrive into this world!! These three already have a host of plans, ideas, and dreams for how they will be loving on, nurturing, teaching, and spending time with the baby and I can hardly wait to get to watch them all interact together (though I’m wondering if I’m ever going to get to hold the baby myself! Maybe at the midnight feedings?!?)

I got to speak at the Blissdom blogging conference on Friday on the topic of live video (one of my favorite topics!). It was so good to get to meet some of you there!

While I love getting to speak, one of the best parts of conferences is getting to connect individually with people after I speak! I love hearing stories and providing individual encouragement and cheerleading!

I loved getting to meet and do an interview with Jo Saxton on leadership.

One of the best parts of the conference was getting to see so many longtime blogging friends! A bunch of these women had gotten an AirBnB together and they invited me to come over afterwards for dinner. I haven’t laughed as hard as we laughed in a really long time. It was such a gift for my soul!

What I’m Currently…

Reading: Families Where Grace is in Place and The Killing Tide

Watching: You’ve Got Mail (I haven’t watched this in ages! We had a discussion about AOL recently as a family and I remembered this movie so I watched it with the girls to give them a better understanding of what email was like when we were teenagers!)

Listening to: Christmas Music!

Loving: The fact that I’ve finished all my business travel + speaking engagements for 2019! I’ve loved getting to travel and speak and meet so many of you this year, but I’m also grateful that I get to stay home now and just enjoy my family and making special memories together for the holidays (plus begin work on the new book I’m writing in 2020!)

In Case You Missed It…

Life Update: Pregnancy (week 14), Hawaiian fun, Seussical

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

14 weeks — and officially into the second trimester!! (This isn’t the best pregnancy photo, but this is the only one I got this week so it will have to do. Jesse took it so I could post the amazing $10.95 deal on these shirts — the deal ends tonight!)


The baby seemed to have a big growth spurt over the past 6 days. And we’ve officially hit the no more flat stomach in the morning stage.

(Also, I cannot BELIEVE how much my stomach pops by the end of the day most days!! It’s like I grow by 5 inches! Okay, I haven’t actually measured, but that’s sure what it feels like!)


I actually had a lot more energy than I’ve had in *weeks* the past few days!! And I’ve actually been craving salads and healthy food again.

It feels SO good to be back to much more normal eating again. I was really, really sick to my stomach two mornings this past week, but it went away after a few hours and I am so grateful.


Cheese, sour cream, whipped, yogurt, milk, ice cream… notice a theme here? It’s a good thing I don’t have any dairy allergies!!

WEIGHT GAIN: 6 pounds

We have another doctor’s appointment in a few days, which I’m excited about. (I think pregnancy is probably one of the few times when you look forward to going to the doctor!)

Our youth group hosted a Fall Festival for our church kids and the community. Each youth group small group chose a theme and dressed up, planned a game, and decorated our room for that theme. Can you guess what theme our group chose??

Around 200 kids came to the event and we were busy all night helping the kids play our game and passing out candy. It was such a fun night!

These girls are just amazing and I’m so honored to get to be one of their small group leaders!

One of the best parts of youth group is getting to co-lead our group with one of my best friends!

If you need a laugh, go read this.

Silas had his last baseball games of the fall season this past week. I loved how his coach spoke words of life over each boy at the end of the last game. Silas has been so blessed to have so many great coaches over the past few years who are so committed to pouring into young boys’ lives.

Almost all of my girls from my youth group small group were performing in Seussical Jr. so of course I had to go cheer them on!

Kaitlynn came with me to the show and we had so much fun together. I am always looking for opportunities to have one-on-one time with each of the kids.

What I’m…

Reading right now: Come Matter Here

Watching right now: Figure skating!

Listening to right now: I’ve been listening to Josh Groban and some Christmas music the past few days.

Loving right now: The cooler fall temperatures — which means we can actually legitimately wear sweaters and boots!

In Case You Missed It…

Life Update: Pregnancy Update (Week 13) & the Spartan Race

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

13 weeks!!! And I had to have my picture taken in the kitchen because I COOKED DINNER three times this week!!!


I feel like I came back to life this week and it is AMAZING to be functioning again at at least 50% of my normal pace compared to barely functioning the past 6 weeks. I forgot how good I used to feel! Also, I was able to start eating my daily salads again, which made me so happy!!


Um, should confess that my big craving this week was Taco Bell tacos again?!?


Jesse’s dad (who owns a medical equipment servicing business) sent us a really fancy doppler that’s he’s letting us borrow for the pregnancy. It’s so amazing to get to hear the baby’s heartbeat at home!

Also of note: I’ve outgrown the majority of my wardrobe. The maternity clothes I have are still huge on me, but I’m going to have to get creative with outfits over the next few weeks until I can fit into my maternity clothes! The kids continue to be so shocked by my growing size and I keep telling them they haven’t seen nothing yet!

WEIGHT GAIN: 5.5 lbs.

P.S. Do you consider the second trimester to start in week 13 or week 14?! The internet seems very conflicted on this.

Jesse and Kathrynne ran the Spartan Race last week and had a blast doing it.

Kathrynne ended up finishing a few minutes before Jesse! 🙂

Silas and Kaitlynn ran the Spartan Kids’ race while Jesse and Kathrynne ran their race and had a great time doing so!

And the fun after the race… getting all cleaned up. 🙂

What I’m…

Reading right now: I Will Always Write Back (I finished this and really enjoyed it, especially since I’m so passionate about South Africa. Do note that it has a little bit of language and somewhat more mature themes in it in places so I’d read through it before handing it off to a child to read.)

Watching right now: Silas, Kaitlynn, and I have continued to enjoy watching The Masked Singer. We’ve also been watching Dancing with the Stars.

Listening to right now: I’ve been listening to recent episodes of The Sorta Awesome show this week.

Loving right now: Mint Majesty tea with cream and honey (someone sent this to me as a gift and it is SO good!)

In Case You Missed It: